November 27 is the feast day of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Two staff members here at The Catholic Company recently made pilgrimages to France where they visited many of France’s holy sites, including the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris. This chapel is the actual location where Our Lady requested that a medal be struck with her image surrounded by the words, “O Mary, Conceived Without Sin, Pray for Us Who Have Recourse to Thee”. This is where Mary took on the new title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, which is closely related to the Immaculate Conception feast day on December 8.
Advent is known as “little Lent,” and prayer, alms, and sacrifices are an important part of the season. To help children participate in the true purpose of Advent (rather than treating it selfishly as a countdown to getting their presents on Christmas day), a visual teaching aid is most helpful.
For each small sacrifice or good deed done by a child during Advent, a piece of straw is added into the manger or creche. On Christmas day the Baby Jesus figure is placed inside the creche, and the prayers and sacrifices symbolized by the pieces of straw have added up to prepare Him a comfortable place to rest. This visually symbolizes the room for Jesus that we have prepared in our hearts by making sacrifices and doing good deeds for others.